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Ethical Consumer Week 2021: Closing the Climate Gap

For the second year running, Ethical Consumer Magazine is hosting Ethical Consumer Week; this year exploring the theme 'Closing the Climate Gap'.

The event is pay-as-you-feel will take place online between Saturday 16th - Friday 22nd October. Tickets are available below and on Eventbrite.

We’re not on track to meet global emissions reduction targets. This is creating a gap between what is being done currently and what needs to be done to not only meet current targets but to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.

Ethical Consumer Week 2021 will be looking at what it will take to bridge the gap.

How can businesses, governments and consumers work together to make the change required?

And what might a fairer, more equitable world look like on the other side?

The time is now

In December 2020, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres warned that we are facing a ‘moment of truth’, without drastic action we might be heading for a three to five-degree temperature rise this century.

Every major climate change institution and carbon budgeting scenario says that we need widespread behaviour change if we’re to mitigate against catastrophic climate breakdown. 

Ethical Consumer Week 2021 (16th-22nd October) will look at the gap between current behaviour and where we must head in order to meet international targets, and how we can address the divide.

It will consider our roles as consumers, citizens, workers, producers and more - asking what steps we can take towards supporting local, national and global behaviour change.

Closing the climate gap: Ethical Consumer Week 2021

Join us from 16 - 22 October for Ethical Consumer Week 2021 which is all about closing the climate gap.

Sessions average 1-2 hours long, and you can book one or many sessions! Most are free or 'pay as you feel' tickets, and all are online.

Sessions are focused around themes include heating, clothing, finance, food, transport, technology and retail, with experienced knowledgable guest speakers.

Click here for the programme and to book tickets online

Transformative change

Last year, at Ethical Consumer Week, we repeatedly heard about the need for transformative change: a climate transition that shifts our relationship to ecosystems, value and the human and non-human life around us. As Neil McInroy from CLES told us, this is not about “fitting around the edge of the extractive economy and shareholder interest.” 

Our 2021 Ethical Consumer Week will build on the question of what we want a climate-just society to look like, envisioning a fairer future.

Across sectors from clothing and food, to energy and housing, the need for a just transition will inevitably pose many questions. 

  • How do we respect supply chain workers while tackling fast fashion? 
  • What can we as home renters do towards making our housing more climate efficient?
  • How do we ensure that low-carbon food systems also become more accessible and address the hunger gap? 

Throughout the week we will hear from experts, as well as Ethical Consumer’s own researchers on these questions and more. 

Hearing from communities

We are also inviting communities, organisations and businesses to host their own sessions as part of the week, from BankTrack and AdFree Cities to Ethex and Extinction Rebellion, global and local organisations will join the conversation throughout the week.

You can sign up for pay as you feel tickets for each event (see below), including sessions run by a range of organisations helping you to be informed about what you can do to help close the climate gap.

Our sessions will be focusing on 7 themes that need to be tackled to address the climate gap, covering finance, food, fashion, technology, transport, retail and housing.

Events during the week:


A low-carbon future for clothing?

The clothing industry has an annual carbon footprint close to that of all 28 current EU states combined – at 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 yearly. It must rapidly decarbonise if we are to meet global reduction goals. But what might a decarbonised clothing economy look like? How do we respect workers and community in this transition? And what steps must we take to get there?

Speakers for this session will include:

  • Writer and fashion consultant Aja Barber
  • Ruth Strange from Ethical Consumer
  • Deborah Baker from Fibreshed
  • fashion supply chain voices and more


The role of ethical finance in a low-carbon future

The finance sector, including our pensions and high street banks, is still heavily invested in the fossil-fuel sector. In order for us to meet international climate targets all sectors need to take urgent action. The finance sector is not exempt.

We will be joined by a panel of industry experts and campaigners to tackle the following questions:

  • What role is the finance sector currently playing in the climate crisis?
  • What changes need to be made to bridge the gap?
  • What is actually happening in the finance sector?
  • What can consumers do?

Speakers will include representatives from:

  • Make My Money Matter @MMMoneyMatter
  • @350
  • Areeba Hamid from Sunrise Project (Bank on Our Future) @sunriseoz
  • Ethical Consumer @EC_magazine


A just transition to a low-carbon diet

The global food system accounts for roughly a quarter of all human greenhouse gas emissions. As the climate crisis deepens, not only does the food we eat matter, but our current food system will need to adapt to our rapidly changing climate to support us in feeding everyone well.

This session will explore the complex role food plays in the climate and ecological crisis and will question: What does a zero carbon diet look like for us here in the UK and elsewhere? And how do we get there?

Hosted by Anna Clayton - a writer and research at Ethical Consumer and coordinator of FoodFutures: North Lancashire's Sustainable Food Places initiative, more speakers TBC.

We have many more sessions on the programme. For full details see the Ethical Consumer Week website.

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